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Winter use

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  • Winter use

    Hi I am getting ready for my first winter with 6x3 tub. I am in the northeast and would like to use my tub throughout winter without damageing it or just being not worth it. Ive heard about draining it and leaving a few inches in the bottom. Thats seems good if your not using it but what if I want to use it every week or every third week? What do you winter users do? I hear about using a stock tank heater to keep the water from freezing but again a stock tank is not 470 gallons and what size wattage one would I buy? I really want to be able to soak once a week or so in the coldest months of winter which around here drop between 10 to 20degrees. I dont want to worry if I dont soak one week that I have a block of ice. Seems like the safest way is to drain after using but thats alot of work for one soak .What about a fountain pump that circulates water. I am looking for real winter users to comment here and give me a heads up thanks!

  • #2
    Hi Moonraker,

    Even in the heart of Winter in an extremely cold climate (think Alaska, Colorado Rockies, Upper Midwest, Upstate New York), you don't have to take any special precautions unless you won't be using your tub for longer than 1 week. After this point, you can drain the tub down to a few inches as you mentioned...OR you can suspend an intertube or some empty 1 gallon milk containers in your water. Ice expansion will take up the space in the tube/milk jugs, rather than damaging your wood. This might be a better solution for you if regularly draining and refilling your hot tub is undesirable.


    - Snorkel


    • #3
      Ok I will be experimenting! thanks for quick responce.


      • #4
        Last year I used a stock tank heater and only used the tub every few weeks. Really enjoyed it every time though, so this winter I'm keeping the heater as backup and trying to fire it up each weekend instead.

        Quick clarifying point/question re: leaving expansion space in the tub -- if I remember correctly "suspending" in this case means "tying it down so it stays near the bottom of the tub", correct ? I don't think having expansion space near the top of the tub helps as much...


        • #5
          I live in south central Alaska and have a 5 X 3 Snorkel tub. I bought the thin blue/black foam material that Snorkel sells and cut pieces to cover not only the main soaking area, but the area above the stove too. Then I bought a big piece of 2 inch, foil backed rigid foam. I used the blue/black foam cover pieces as a pattern to cut the rigid foam using a jig saw.

          To keep all the beads from the insulation from getting in the water and everywhere else, I took two layers of aluminum foil and held it over the edge while I ironed it. You want to get the insulation hot enough so the beads melt together. It works great. The rigid foam pieces float well on top of the blue/black foam. I estimate that I am losing only ten degrees a day by covering the tub with the three layers: the blue/black foam, rigid foam, and wood top.
          Last edited by AKH2O; 12-03-2014, 11:06 PM.


          • #6
            I'm wondering why leave a couple inches of water in the bottom? Does it wick up and keep the staves from drying/shrinking, even in freezing weather? Why not just empty it if gone for weeks, then refill when back? Also, would it make a diff if one used heat-treated wood in freezing weather, and/or when emptying it every season because we're gone, or is regular wood better? Also wondering about cedar vs. spruce when cycling through emptying and filling/using every 6 months? Finally, wondering about using a poly liner just to be safe from leaks in these extremes, and just treating the tub wood inside and out? I've heard from folks who found the maintenance to be too much, and want to know the best way to deal with my situation. Thanks!


            • #7
              Right... you don't want to let the wood dry out around the joints.

              I have always thought of poly liners as something you add later if you let the tub dry out too many times and it stops sealing. There's something really nice about just having the wood.